Dear Sir, I was very interested in Shirley Roberts's account of wandering the floors in Son Espases while waiting for some hours. I too have had that experience and solved it by sketching in the coffee bar. Enclosed is one result. (Pictured above)
Jill Carter

NHS Services Dear Sir, I generally praise the incisive, no hostages taken editorials from Humphrey Carter (am still awaiting his explanation of why the British “occupation” of Gibraltar is bad yet the Spanish “occupation” of Melilla and the Spanish “occupation” of Ceuta is good ??) - but must disagree with his simplistic assessment of the value of the report on the NHS by the American Don Berwick. My experiences of the UK NHS service have like most people's been generally good but most people also recognise serious managerial shortcomings in addressing the almost insoluble problem of coping with an increasingly aged population and the improvements in technology (at high cost) which allow life to be preserved almost indefinitely.

Most UK candidates to examine the problems of the UK NHS probably have a NHS history and entrenched views which would undermine their credibility. Asking a man, who is up to his neck in mud and crocodiles, his strategy for draining the swamp is not always the best approach. As for the simplistic solution that ‘patient safety should be paramount' many if not most problems in industry are due to managers concentrating on convoluted objective functions and forgetting about the basics. CEO's pursue market share and prestige rather than shareholder return - to the current wroth of easyJet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

One strategy pursued by at least one major UK-European Multinational was to rotate middle managers every three to four years. This ensured that managers destined for the stratosphere acquired a wide range of experience before assuming senior positions. It also ensured that the ‘new brooms' regularly reviewed the effectiveness of the objectives, procedures and leanness of their new domains - with long serving / suffering sergeant majors defending the status quo. From media coverage it would appear that the NHS is entrenched at all levels with staff determined to defend history rather than rising to the challenges of the moment and future. More of the same is not an option.

Geoff Williamson
Santa Ponsa

Dear Sir, Hugh Ash's piece in Sunday's Daily Bulletin may have caused even the staunchest supporters of Israel to cringe with embarrassment. Leaving aside the string of historical distortions, in seeking to depict Palestinians and their sympathisers as anti-Semitic bigots, Ash simply reveals his own ignorance and bigotry. Arabs are of course a Semitic people, and anti-Semitism is historically a Christian-European phenomenon.

The tragedy that is today's Middle East was sown in the late 19th century when the European Zionist movement selected a land that was already inhabited by another people (96% non-Jewish), as their future State. How much less suffering and injustice might have been caused if, say, in 1945 Zionism had been offered East Prussia as a safe haven from persecution by European anti-Semites, rather than allowing the dispossession and exile of the indigenous Palestinians, a people with no responsibility for the holocaust?

Perhaps Mr Ash should retitle his “hughash blog” as the “hogwash blog”.
Yours sincerely, Tom Barry

Praise Dear Sir, People are all too quick to complain, but this is to tell about our experience and to praise a young lady at the Police department for foreigners in Palma.

I accompanied a friend who has been trying to get her residence permit. She had collected the forms, filled everything out and paid, during two visits in March and May. One last thing was dealt with and then two attempts were made to obtain the residence card.

On two separate occasions we were turned away because they had run out of numbers, the first time after a two hour wait before being told and the second because opening had changed to 8am so again no numbers - they had finished by 8.20am and we got there at 8.45am. Last Friday we got there at 7am. There was a short queue which grew during the hour to opening. At 8am we got our number. When it was our turn, 20 minutes later, we approached our designated table where the young lady instantly remembered us from our previous March and May visits - quite a coincidence that each time she dealt with us. She was extremely helpful and friendly. My friend thought she had all that was required but unfortunately one document did not have necessary dates. She suggested we could go to the office which was nearby and not queue again but go directly back to her. However we then found a bank statement which had some details. She went to ask her superior who decided that this was sufficient, and in a few more moments my friend was the proud possessor of her useless photo-free little green card!! The moral of my story is that not all officials are wooden, unhelpful and unfriendly. This young lady made it her job to be as friendly and helpful as possible. She could have made it as difficult as possible by sending us away to get the needed dates and to come back another day - which has happened to me in the distant past.

Gill Smart
Can Pastilla

Dear Sir, For the second year running we have been met with problems when arriving at our hotel to start our holiday. The hotel confirmed our booking 16 days before we arrived, took our £731 euros for a one weeks stay on a self catering basis for three people. They stated that we would have a room with a pool view as requested, this booking was on a non cancelling basis. When we arrived the receptionist at once tried to change us to their sister hotel saying it was a much better room.

On inspection this was not a better room and being aware of this hotel I knew it had noise problems because of the attached night club which operated late into the night. I then stated that I wanted the room that I had booked and paid for and was then given my room. As we were self catering I expected to find a kettle, toaster and microwave, but none of these items were supplied. The pool view was obscured by a wall/curtain of tree foliage (I am not talking about palm trees which are expected). The pool view was important to us as we could keep an eye on our 13 year old grandson when he was in the pool. We thought about complaining to reception but we had already refused to change hotel, and the room was booked on a non cancelling basis. Being pensioners we did not want the confrontation and quietly accepted our predicament.

My grievance is that the hotel must have known about the very restricted pool view in that room, so why did they not advise us about the view. We would not have proceeded with the booking and would have gone to another hotel. I think it is an appalling lack of integrity on the part of the hotel. How can we in future put any trust in the hotels in Majorca if they can't even observe simple requests.

David Dean


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